For the second consecutive year the Jacksonville Jaguars traded up to get the players that they coveted.
After trading up last season to select quarterback Blaine Gabbert, the Jaguars jumped up two spots to select Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon in a very active first night of the NFL Draft.
It just goes to show how unpredictable the draft actually is. For weeks leading up to the draft, all of the news coming out of Jacksonville suggested that they were desperately seeking to trade down to accumulate more draft picks. In the end, they ended up going in the other direction.
In Blackmon, the Jaguars got the best wide receiver available in this year’s draft. He was extremely productive in his time at Oklahoma State, catching 38 touchdown passes over the last two seasons in a passing happy offense. He will immediately move to the top of the Jaguars depth chart at the wide receiver position.
Blackmon will give the Jaguars a reliable target on the outside that should pair well with the more explosive Laurent Robinson and help make the Jaguars passing attack a bit more dangerous than it was last season.
He does not possess the elite speed that will allow him to be an effective deep threat in the NFL, but he does possess the physicality necessary to catch most passes thrown his way. He also has great leaping ability despite only being 6’1″ and will give the Jaguars a reliable red zone target. He is also an excellent route runner with sure hands and great body control which allowed him to make some acrobatic catches in college.
While Blackmon may not have tremendous upside in terms of becoming an elite NFL wide receiver, he has almost no bust potential. Everybody expects him to have an extremely productive pro career, and that is good news for a Jaguars team that had the worst passing offense in the NFL last season.
The Jaguars only had to surrender a fourth round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to move up from the seventh to the fifth pick. A relatively low price to ensure you are getting the player you want.
The Jags now have two picks on Friday night with several talented players still available.